Posted by: nastypen | May 11, 2008

My First Step in Becoming Speed Racer

To celebrate mother’s day, I started to learn how to drive. Or should I say relearn how to drive. Back in high school, I could drive. But I almost killed my sisters so I stopped. So, today, after more than a decade of refusing to get a license, I enrolled in a driving school and drove….if your definition of driving is being overtaken by a tricycle, then I drove pretty well.

I am exhausted right now. The driving instructor made me drive around Makati Central Business District. At one point I was so ready to go down and do my favorite traffic signal: hailing a cab. But I have to learn how to drive. Not because I am getting a car, but because my mother is getting older.

All my life, I never saw my father drive. Family legend has it that he knew how to drive but once drove drunk and rammed into a store. So. he swore off driving. I never saw him behind the wheel. It was always my mother. She would drive me to and from school.

My mom’s a good driver. Her high school friend who migrated to America visited her once. She drove him around and his comment of my mother’s driving skill? “My testicles disappeared.” The statement was funnier in Tagalog.

She would say “Don’t talk to the driver while the driver is driving.” I couldn’t concentrate as the driving instructor was telling me “Clutch. Gas. Check your mirrors. Half-brake. Slowly.” I wanted to scream and break into the bank and steal millions so that I can afford to hire a driver instead.

When I was 7, the family driver would suffer as I insist on sitting on his lap and that I take the wheel of the car. I had fun then. Fast forward more than two decades, I feared the tricycles whizzing by. But deep down, I wanted to drive a backhoe and flip the pesky jeepneys away from the road.

In high school, I learned how to drive in the old airstrip in Lahug. (Now, that airstrip is populated by call centers. ) I was eager to rev it up as I took to the road. On that fateful day, I was a freshman in high school and drove an old blue Toyota pick-up. My sisters rode at the back. I was a bit of a speed demon. I floored the accelerator then ten seconds later, I hit the brakes. My sisters flew and Dang hit her forehead. She was crying. As I parked the pickup at home, my elder sister flew down in a rage and slapped me. Good thing, I didn’t fracture my little sister’s skull….just a bump but she was crying.

So, I chose the passenger seat ever since.

But I dread aging not because of the wrinkles but there will be a time that my speed racer mother will not be able to drive. So, I enrolled. I just called her and told her I drove around Makati and sweat bullets throughout the ordeal. She was giggling then was elated. I told her that I didn’t scream only whimpered.

Truth be told, I kind of enjoyed driving around. But of course, I lack coordination. Th instructor said I was extreme. He told me to stop behind a car at a length of a car. I stopped behind a car…and the space between us can fit four more cars. At the start, the instructor noted that I love to step on the gas and I was “vrooming”……at the first gear. Driving around Makati, I was picturing myself taking my mom to the mall….going to the provinces. It made me smile until the taxi behind me blasted my ears with his horn to which I gave him the finger. Apparently, I am advanced in road rage skills.

So, I still have much to learn and have much to practice. I told my sister I am going to drive my mother on Sundays and Holy Week. The rest I will just take a cab or get on the trains.

My brother-in-law told me that I will do fine. He told us it was difficult at first but I will get used to it. I got a slew of text messages congratulating me of this endeavor. Maybe next time, I can be able to drive through McDonald’s in Alfaro, Makati and order me some shakes. I’d be in tears just after achieving that feat of multitasking…driving, ordering, paying and consuming.

I am just thinking learning how to drive is one thing, dealing with skyrocketting gas prices is another. Not to mention the pollution I will contribute as a driver. One step at a time. My foot is still on half-brake mode.



  1. Weee. I hope we could drive up north to Ilocos and then drive down to Mindanao. It could be a totally different experience.

  2. this reminds me of getting a driver’s license as well. I was grounded (almost for life) by my dad when he learned that I took the volkwagen beetle out my first drive with my mom on my 18th birthday. Mom didn’t know I knew how to drive (heh), I didn’t either.

    It’s like learning how to use the bicycle. You’ll do fine, dear. 🙂

  3. Hay naku, ikaw pa. Kayang-kaya mo yan… Besides, I’m pretty sure that by the time that you decided to get a car, you would probably have more projects that you can handle and you’ll get a Betty Suarez to help you out….

  4. northwind…i don’t like a betty suarez in my life. I’ve no patience for people like those…..

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